Category: History

A Colorado Springs Adventure That is Also An Architectural Wonder — The Royal Gorge Bridge

A Historical Colorado Springs Adventure

In 1929, the world’s highest suspension bridge was constructed — The Royal Gorge Bridge. 

Although the Royal Gorge Bridge may no longer hold that title, let’s think about where we were in terms of technology in 1929. 

In 2020, a construction like this doesn’t seem that impressive. We now have the technology to construct buildings, bridges, spaceships, cars, and everything in between.

However, in 1929, the first flight around the world took place; scientists had virtually no idea what was beyond Earth, and the most common car people drove in was Henry Ford’s, Model T.

A Historical Colorado Springs Adventure

Source: Henry Ford’s Model T Wikimedia

 

With all this being said, it really puts in perspective how amazing the construction of a 1,260-foot bridge over the Arkansas Bridge really is.

The Royal Gorge Bridge is located an hour south of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is the perfect excursion for a Colorado Springs adventure. 

Here are a few other fun historical facts about the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.

What Makes The Royal Gorge Bridge, “America’s Bridge?”

As we just stated, the bridge was built in 1929, it has seen the majority of our country’s historical events. Beginning its longstanding history, the bridge was constructed with roughly 80 workers happy to have a job, right before the Great Depression hit.    

The bridge utilized American workers and American ingenuity, which put the United States in the spotlight all around the world as having just built the world’s highest suspension bridge. 

The bridge is 100% American, and it sits next to America’s Mountain — Pikes Peak. 

It is America’s highest bridge today. With all of these long-standing connections to American history, the Royal Bridge is obviously “America’s Bridge.”  

Construction Took Only A Few Months & It was Super Expensive  A Historical Colorado Springs Adventure

In fact, the Royal Gorge Bridge was built in seven months, and no serious injury or death occurred during the construction of the bridge. 

This is particularly monumental because in today’s day and age, according to the experts the majority of construction projects are notoriously late and report many serious injuries.    

Although the Royal Gorge Bridge was constructed quickly and safely, it was outrageously over budget — about $100,000 over budget, which today would equivocate to about $20 million dollars. 

Whoa. 

A Place That Participated In Hosting Records and Historical Happenings

Since the Royal Gorge Bridge’s opening, the bridge has hosted approximately 27 million visitors and experienced some of history’s most historically significant events.

Some of the historical events the bridge has experienced include the Great Depression, WWI & WWII, and many more. 

Along with these historical events, it also hosted Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt claimed the bridge to be “one of the finest scenic spots in the whole of the United States.”

The wonderful thing about the Royal Gorge Bridge is you don’t need to be an extreme adventurer to enjoy the Royal Gorge Bridge. However, there have been several previous extreme events take place at the bridge before. Some of these things include presidential visits, a stage for several movies, movie star visits including John Wayne,  free rappelling records, jet pack flight, and more.

The experiences and events the bridge has hosted and been a part of, all come together to make it an architectural wonder. 

What Are You Waiting For?

There’s no denying the amazing stories and history that is associated with the Royal Gorge Bridge. From the construction to the experience, and everything in between, the bridge is definitely an architectural wonder.

What are you waiting for? Have you chosen to make the Royal Gorge Bridge your next Colorado Springs adventure? Buy your tickets now and be part of the wonder.

4 of the Best Ways To Enjoy The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park This Memorial Day – The Best Things to do in Colorado

This year has been a whirlwind! 

With the closures around Colorado and the United States, we are finally able to welcome all of you wonderful visitors inside our park — just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

The Park is following  Fremont County and Colorado COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocols so if you are looking for some of the best things to do in Colorado this Memorial Day weekend consider adding a memorable excursion by spending a day at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.  Best Things To Do in Colorado for Memorial Day Weekend

Located in Cañon City, just one hour from Colorado Springs, CO and two hours from Denver, CO, the Royal Gorge Bridge, and Park offers a wide array of entertainment and attractions to suit any taste. Spring is the perfect time to visit this amusement park in the sky, with its glorious weather and scenery. 

Here are four of the best ways to enjoy Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge and Park this Memorial Day: 

1. Catch a Live Show

With the reopening of the park, we are hosting some live music entertainment!

Our live entertainment performances this year include bands from around the area.  Check out who’s playing and when on our website.  This weekend, the popular and crowd-pleasing band Deja Bluz, plays rock ‘n roll.

Our live music performances are sure to entertain the whole family — definitely a show you don’t want to miss.

2. Host a Picnic With A Dash Of Shopping & A Small Photo Session

For those seeking a tamer experience, the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is an idyllic setting for a picnic and then taking stunning pictures — but we do have to remember to acknowledge the county requirements about social distancing in order to conduct this type of activity. 

There are several places in the park to sit and enjoy each other’s company with great food fare from food carts and restaurants.  

Talk about a great outdoor experience! 

Photograph your experience to share with your loved ones who aren’t able to join you.

Afterward, visit the huge deck at the back of the visitor center for an array of views ranging from daredevils on our more adventurous attractions to the serene natural beauty of the gorge itself. 

When your scenic picnic and visitor center watching is all said and done, enjoy some shopping at our gift shop. You’ll be able to bring something home to remind you of your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

3. Zip Across the Arkansas River

The Royal Gorge Bridge is a marvel in itself, considered a feat of engineering, and an architectural wonder.  

At 956 feet above the Arkansas River, this is one of the highest and most famous suspension bridges in the world.  In fact, it held the title of the world’s highest suspension bridge up until 2001, and it remains the highest bridge in the United States. 

In 2015, we installed the gondola and CloudScraper zipline attractions to give people a different perspective of the Arkansas River. 

Experience another perspective for yourself. Fun fact about both of these attractions, you can bring your dogs and children with you on the gondolas and children ages 10 and up (depending on their size) on the CloudScraper zipline attraction.

4. Climb the Gorge — Via Ferrata

If you are feeling up for a more adventurous experience, plan on scaling the walls of the gorge. 

Italian for “iron way,” this unique climbing system is comprised of steel cables fixed to the rock wall of the gorge. Guests secure themselves to these cables with carabiners and use iron rungs for a day of scaling the gorge. 

Even if you have no rock-climbing experience, you can still scale the gorge and enjoy a one of a kind climbing/hiking activity. One of the great things about this system is There are routes for beginners and seasoned climbers to explore the walls of the Royal Gorge.  This is a guided experience you’ll never forget!  Call for reservations: 719-276-8342, please leave a message if necessary and we’ll get back with you shortly.  

How are you going to spend your time at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park this Memorial Day weekend?

Buy your tickets today — the park is open from 10am – 7pm daily.

13 Fun Facts About the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

There are so many fun and interesting facts about the Royal Gorge Bridge. From how it began, to all of its impressive intricacies, here are a few tidbits to remember the next time you’re exploring this Colorado wonder.

  • Construction of the bridge began in June 1929

  • The bridge was built in only seven months time

  • The original cost was $350,000 and $100,000 over budget

  • A total 1,292 wooden planks make up the length of the bridge

  • Original builders average wage was $.50 an hour

  • The bridge towers stand 150 high

  • The bridge is 18 feet wide

  • The original toll was $.75 per person

  • The park has attracted upwards of 30 million visitors since opening

  • The bridge held the title of the “world’s highest” from 1929 until 2001

  • The total length is 1,260 feet

  • The original aerial tram opened in 1969

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the site during his campaign in 1936

 

Fremont County’s Deep History

Millions of years after dinosaurs roamed the land that is now known as Canon City and Fremont County, Lt. Zebulon Pike explored frigid Arkansas River region in the winter of 1806. John C. Fremont, famed pathfinder and once presidential candidate, arrived to the area in 1843 and returned for multiple expeditions finding the headwaters of the Arkansas River and finding the railroad route through the Royal Gorge, still available today.

One of 17 original Colorado counties, it was home to the first-drilled oil well west of the Mississippi. Today, travelers can experience many of the same staples that helped form the country and surrounding towns. From the natural beauty of the Royal Gorge, to the rushing white waters of the Arkansas River.

Popular hiking and biking trails include the Oil Well Flats, most well-known for the discovery of intricate dinosaur bones. One of the region’s newest trail systems, it is constantly being modified and updated. Shelf Road is also a choice spot for climbers and hikers. Agriculture is also very popular here with orchards, farms and fisheries.

Odes to Fremont can be found all over, whether wandering the stacks of books inside the John C. Fremont Library, or catching a glimpse of his 20-foot statue at the entrance of Pathfinder Park. Come discover the beauty and adventure  that can be found in Fremont County.